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Lowballers starten to cave and go out of business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by airsoft1779, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. airsoft1779

    airsoft1779 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    Its that time of the year again. Getting really hot. And I recently put out flyers.. And I've grown about 35% from this, b/c all the lowballers going out of business from this spring.. Phone is ringing like crazy from people saying "They stopped showing for some reason or are out of business or they do a crappy job or some other excuse" I put in bids for them, all hundreds more then what they were paying, and i got every job, cause they know I am reliable and do a good job and am here for the long haul. So just hold out boys, they come and go, show who you are about and the jobs will come.
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Same thing going on here. Its almost July and I'm still picking up lawns to mow. Last year was not a good year at all but this year has seen a 300% increase in mowing alone over last year. People I've talked to have told me the same things you posted about. Poor work, unreliable, unprofessional, and the list goes on and on. I never lowered my rate for the services we offer and I stuck to my principles unlike alot of others who lowered their prices to compete with lowballers. Last year we only did a couple small landscape jobs but this year we have jobs backed up all the way to winter. I would rather go out of business than work for nothing.
  3. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    Nice! I get guys all the time at the gas station saying " I used to do lawn service for a couple years....Made almost $15 an hour!!" and I try not to laugh.:laugh:
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 40,166

    Since I fired myself from being self-employed and started working for another landscape/excavation company, I can't believe the number of people telling me "hey man, you do really good work, you should go out of your own."

    I just smile and say "already tried that."
  5. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    I just got an account from a lady who had full service with a guy who did a bad job and said he didn't have the time to do all the stuff he promised. so I gave her a bid and my "green package" (lawn only) was about as expensive as he was charging for full service. Thankfully I helped her realize that his prices were crap if he can't do what he said for that price.

    she was hesitant, so I mentioned "you know, I don't have contracts to sign, so you can try me out for a month risk free" so now I have an account down hill from another.
  6. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,390

    I had to fire myself also. I still have my business but I refuse to cut more then 5 yards a week myself. So I just send the crew out to do them. If I had to keep cutting them myself I would be out of business soon. Better to make some money then none.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    Staying power is the key, add to that customer rapport. I have always kept a "reserve" the see me through the lean times & to make sure I can keep my key employees on the payroll. Although it's been pretty lean till now.

    Know what you numbers are. How much it really costs to operate; if you use X amount of stringer line daily, know what the cost per foot is, how many times you change edger blades and how much each blade costs, how much fuel mix, how much fuel for your mowers, how many mpg's for your truck, traveling distances, insurance, licensing, occupational permits, continuing education, labor...

    KNOW IT ALL! annualize it divide by 52 then divide by 5 then again by 8 (or ten) to know what it costs per hour to operate assuming Mon-Fri. You'll have your daily & hourly nut & you'll know how low you can go before you operate in the red. NEVER bid below the nut, period. You'll never make it up on volume. That's why the low ballers are dropping like flies and I'm picking up new accounts; 6 last month, 2 so far this month.

    Increase the quality of service from excellent to superlative! Pay close attention to the little stuff and stand out for quality, performance and reliability.

    I have always let go of PIA clients ASAP unless I was desperate for the money. I try to maintain excellent customer relations, make it about relationship, make em feel like your their friend and the ones who are never happy? We'll my pappy told me there's some business you just don't want.

    The PIA's that want to steal your time? I smile, let them talk for a few seconds and say, "I'm sorry Mr. PIA, I know this is important but I have to finish this job. I'll be happy to speak with you at the end of the day. My consultation fee is $45.00 ($20, $25, whatever) an hour, what time this evening would be convenient? They'll usually back off and let you work, unless you got a major FUBAR. My good regulars? I'll call in the evening before 7PM no charge, no problem (not many of those).

    Don't hang onto people that give you a lot of grief, let em go as soon as you can. They're not worth it and will drop you for the next cheapo that comes along.

    Run your business as a business!
  8. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    any better preaching than that and you'll have to pass an offering plate Jvan!:waving:

    KINGMADE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    You've grown by 35%... what did you have 6 accounts and now you have 8? At least be realistic when attacking low ballers.
  10. Dave does lawns

    Dave does lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    This lady phones me up and says that her lawn guy stopped showing up. My reply was to her was a friendly "I hear that alot lately, when is a good time for me to come see you?" She says that when her old guy stopped showing up, she called him up as asked whats happening. The old guy said his mower was broke and she would have to prepay him so he could fix his mower and then come mow her lawn. She said no way, and then he offered to come cut the 5000sf lawn with a reel mower.

    I met with her and got the job that works out to be $80/hour.

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